Fredrick “Red” Porter is beside himself when his beloved father dies. His mother has fallen apart; his younger brother J is acting out, and his best friend Thomas won’t speak to him anymore. It is up to Red to keep the spirit of his father’s family business (car shop, gas station and “What-U-Want” convenience store) alive. But at twelve years old, there is only so much he can do.
When Red’s mother decides to move the family to Ohio, Red tries everything to stop his house from being sold, including acts of vandalism, and skipping school. There are boys his age who peer-pressure Red into doing things he knows are wrong, but poor Red is at a loss as to what to think.
This captivating historical fiction novel deals with heavy topics such as racism, abuse, and death in a way that makes you think about injustices in this world. In the end, Kathryn Erskine’s work gives a profound feeling of hope for the future.
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—Elysse, STACKS Writer